(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump on Monday finally met Conan, a military service dog injured in the U.S. raid that resulted in the death of former Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
After teasing for weeks that the Belgian Malinois would come to the White House, Trump introduced Conan to journalists during a surprise event in the Rose Garden.
“So this is Conan. Right now probably the world’s most famous dog,” Trump told reporters. “I learned a lot about this particular type of dog. It’s trained that, if you open your mouth you will be attacked. You want to be very, very careful.”
Trump has repeatedly praised himself for al-Baghdadi’s death, working a mention into a campaign ad during the World Series just days after the Oct. 26 raid in northern Syria. The president previously had said his predecessor Barack Obama didn’t deserve credit for the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
Trump said he awarded the dog a medal and a plaque. Vice President Mike Pence scratched Conan on the head as Trump spoke.
“I actually think Conan knew exactly what was going on,” Trump said of the awards.
Trump didn’t touch Conan in view of reporters. A reporter asked if the president would like to pet the dog; Trump ignored the question.